The Gastronomer's Guide
The Beer Drinker's Guide to the Mediterranean
We don’t always drink beer, but when we do, we prefer to do so while discovering hidden gems and uncovering new cultures on the other side of the world. While the favorite travel destinations at THE STELLA always surround the Adriatic Sea, the mystical Mediterranean is just next door. (Plus, some of the destinations listed here may soon be coming to our website!) For those that travel with the next pub always in mind, here’s to you — drink up our guide to touring the Mediterranean, one sip at a time.
We know what you’re thinking, and it’s true that the northern Mediterranean countries are mostly known for their wine — who could go to France or Italy without working in at least one vineyard tour? But the wine craze in this region just covers up the somewhat hidden, yet thriving, beer culture.
If you’ve lived and drunk in the UK, chances are you’ve heard of Estrella Damm. It’s one of Spain’s oldest brews, and its original factory is still up and running. The brewery offers tours every Wednesday, and inside there’s a small museum dedicated to beer in Spain.
Ever had a Peroni? This pale brew with a spicy finish is found throughout North America, and is distinctly Italian. Meanwhile, in Sicily you’ll find roughly 40 microbreweries scattered throughout the island. On tap: Trimmutura in Palermo for a sour but light drink, Timilia Brewery in Catania for a bit of spice, or the toasty brown Epica in Sinagra.
Produced with local honey from Santorini, Volkan Beer took home an International Beer Award in 2013. Its bottle was designed by Famous Greek artist Alekos Fasianos. Don’t go to Greece without trying a Fix Hellas. This staple was originally brewed in 1864 in Greece’s first major brewery. The company went bankrupt in the 1980s, but the beer was too popular to disappear forever and has since been revived.
In these Muslim nations, beer isn’t exactly part of the culture. Yet, you can still find a decent collection of local brews to taste-test as long as you know where to go.
In Turkey, the Efes Group holds up more than 80% of market share and, with their strong export game, has become one of the largest breweries in the world. They market their Efes Pilsen as the “No. 1 Mediterranean Beer in the World.” True? Only one way to find out.
Again, you won’t go to this part of the world looking for beer, but if you do go, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised.
Stella — not to be confused with Stella Artois — is Egypt’s most famous beer brand, selling in three varieties: Local, Export, and Premium. Sakara is the new beer on the block and its brewers claim to use the best globally available technology. For the strongest beer on the market, try Meister Max.
Raise a glass to the thriving international beer culture in the Mediterranean. Now that you know where to go and what to drink, tap into all the vacation rentals THE STELLA has to offer so you can get to brewing up that next trip.